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Top Consultant Interview Questions for Project Managers

As an IT consultant, landing the project you want is preceded by discussions with an agency contact — and multiple interviews with company employees — if all goes well. Although speaking with the hiring manager is a good sign, you must first receive a recommendation from those leading the search for consultants. Since we are the design division of IT talent management firm The Carrera Agency, our projects at Designing North Studios often coincide with the search for talent. And as our IT counte

Cultivating a Productive Network With a Focus on People

Cultivating a productive network is a crucial step towards experiencing happiness and success in one’s life, both personally and professionally. Every community (digital and physical) presents new introductions and opportunities for connecting with good people — people chosen by you. Interconnectedness. Support. Opportunity. Exposure. Everyone wants these factors, but few know where to find them.

The Art of Cultivating a Responsive Network Using a Project Management Approach

Building on our project management frame of reference, establishing — and adhering to — a process enables you to more effectively cultivate a responsive network. Organization, time management, and clear communication is attainable when you answer the ‘who,’ ‘why,’ and ‘how’ of your networking activities. Who do you want in your network? What value do you offer them? — and them, me? How do I network with the right people? This is the purpose of adopting a process;

Pick Your People, Your Success Depends on it – Live Your Life On Purpose –

Interconnectedness. Support. Opportunity. Exposure. Everyone wants it, but few know where to find it. And crafting the right network is a crucial step towards experiencing personal and professional success. Fortunately, personal and professional networks function to serve the people who maintain their existence — you! Of course, networks require cultivation — and grow best when crafted with care and intention, with a greater-good value proposition.

Subscribing to the Agile Mindset: a Clear Opportunity for UX Designers and Developers to Make Great…

A collaborative relationship using agile methodology among UX designers and developers can ultimately be the biggest factor separating a good final product from one that is great. Of course, this perspective assumes both teams are authentically agile, and embrace the Agile mindset using Agile strategies — yes, Agile is equal parts culture and lifestyle. All or nothing. Traditionally, using the same word four times in one sentence would be considered excessive; however, in the digital environment

Five Artists Designing an Emotional Response to Ocean Plastic

Plastic waste — it’s everywhere! Every ocean. Every beach. Every river. Every community. It’s even in your drinking water. In fact, current research (A global inventory of small floating plastic debris) estimates that every year 5 million to 13 million tons of plastic ends up in the sea — picture that for moment; in reality, it’s far worse than what we can visualize. Even so, the production of single-use plastics continues to increase across the globe as humans find it difficult to forgo a conv
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Creativity, Purpose, and Passion; an Exploration of Good Work as a Framework for Success

Creativity, Purpose, and Passion; an Exploration of Good Work as a Framework for Success Artistic creation (creativity), mission-driven work (purpose), and excitement for the job(passion); in combination, the three encourage a person to explore ideas others label as unrealistic — too rare or too risky. Each and every one of us yearns to impact the world with the good work we do, or want to do. It’s the human nature of good humans — the answer to our ‘why.’

Rethinking Ocean Plastic With Artists and Designers: 10 Well-Designed Ads

A picture truly is worth a thousand words while trying to comprehend the impact of plastic and other pollution on the marine environment. These artists prove it — they are designing an emotional response to ocean plastic. The stark beauty of their creations is having an impact on people worldwide, captivating onlookers to show interest in a subject that might otherwise be swept under the rug — or left on the streets…

The Art Of Paying It Forward

The Art Of Paying It Forward Without Spending A Dime We’ve all been there before, caught up in the routine-of-things with little thought for what life has to offer outside of “the daily grind.” Rarely, do we take time to think about the others before us who “paid it forward” in one way or another, granting opportunities that would have otherwise never presented themselves. When we pay it forward, we commit and act of selflessness that transcends our connection to other humans on the planet.


Meet Jennifer Hillman-Magnuson, author, mother and “peanut butter smuggler” who with her family, resides full-time in the beautiful state of Oregon. This wasn’t always the case. As an accomplished writer who began her journey with the likes of Nickelodeon, Jen’s creativity flows in her imaginative writing style and memoirs that are wildly entertaining. WTF is a “peanut butter smuggler”? I hear you say. Well, fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants mom, Jennifer Hillman-Magnuson...

Blue Planet II, the Ocean Experience we all Need Right Now

Blue Planet II is expected to be a thrilling journey, and David Attenborough will once again be our tour guide across the ocean. With over 43 million views on its trailer video in under a month, Planet Blue II is poised to make an impact across the globe, starting with Europe on October 29th. Us unfortunate ‘blokes’ in the states will have to wait until early 2018 for such pleasure. And the timing couldn’t be better.

Finding Your Flow Like a Designer, With Advice From an Executive Creative Director

What is flow? What does flow mean? And how on earth can flow be experienced? (Outside of the Progressive insurance commercials). For the longest time, these questions lingered among the team at Designing North Studios as we navigated the sea of creativity and requirements each project demanded. But that was then. Now, with the guidance of our Executive Director, Lisa Peacock, our team has learned how to position our schedules to find our individual flow. And you can do the same: by following ou

All-Hands Approach to Cybersecurity in the Workplace: IT, Business Leaders and Employees

It was once said that cybersecurity in the workplace wouldn’t exist without IT. Well, that statement is now showing its age and has since evolved into something more inclusive. In reality, there is no cybersecurity without IT, business AND employees working together with shared objectives and a strong culture. Simply put, every organization should approach cybersecurity by integrating the IT department, business units and employees. We’ve said it before and well say it again:

Designing Your Life Using Artistic Creation; a Lesson in Mental Clarity, Empathy and Fun

Have you ever thought about designing your life? Essentially crafting a “tomorrow” that gets you excited, feeling ready for what’s next. If you have, good for you — you’re one step ahead of most. Our tips will keep you moving forward. And if not, we can help you get started. Echoing the words of every parent, “You aren’t getting any younger!” The most common question we encounter is where do I begin? And from our many experiences in the design studio working with others to develop the designin

The First and Most Important Step in Designing a Remote Creative Team

So, you want to design a team of remote creatives… Well, it might be time to throw a party. That’s right, a party. Not the advice you were expecting, was it? Throwing a party is the first and most important step in designing a remote creative team. Experience shows, distributed teams happily collaborate using technology tools (thank you, Slack, Trello, Invision Studio, and Harvest to name a few) but often miss out on the face-to-face interaction physical studio-based teams view as “the norm.” A

A Consultant’s Guide to Coexisting with Cybersecurity

Within the modern IT organization, everyone needs to be a cybersecurity professional. Plain and simple. Every technology worker needs to serve as the first line of defense against threats to data, networks, infrastructure, and most importantly, people. Through adopting this mindset and remaining open-minded about your consulting career, you can capitalize on the many opportunities that currently exist in cybersecurity.

Social Engineering, A Driver for Cybersecurity Awareness

When we asked a group of CIOs in the Southern California region what their biggest concern was for the immediate future their answer was clear: cybersecurity and social engineering; the culmination of people, process and technology. Link: Read about the relationship of people, process and technology in IT project management. In 2016 alone, the FBI received nearly 300,000 cyber security fraud complaints categorized as Business Email Compromise (BEC), totaling over 1.4 billion in economic losses:

A Project Manager Perspective on Project Management

Do you remember when project management was viewed as strictly a science? This began to change over the past decade as the ‘art’ of project management increasingly became a topic of discussion. Until this point, the profession was measured through conventional tools, or as Project Management Institute (PMI) refers to them, the “mechanics” of project management. But what was missing from the manuals of the past was an acknowledgement of the art of project management.

Digital Transformation: Key Factors For Business and IT Leaders

With a relentless push for digital transformation among companies of all sizes, business leaders and IT professionals must embrace an environment with constant change. Digital disruption is everywhere, and the competitive landscape has shifted to a modern form where customized business solutions must be delivered at a rapid pace. But in order to be successful, business and IT leaders need to work hand-in-hand to innovate quickly and deliver on all transformation scenarios.

Digital Transformation: Identifying The Level’s Of Maturity

Digital transformation has become an integral business strategy for nearly every legacy corporation in existence. The current disruption from swift moving tech-startups is unprecedented, and larger companies are being forced to transform their asset types in order to remain relevant to end users, not to mention stay competitive within their market. We now live in a digital-first world where technology must transcend every level of an organization...

Growing The Freelance Economy With A Focus On Freelancers

The freelance economy is growing. And with this growth, freelance consultants are finding more opportunities to apply their skills toward the projects that most peak their interests. In fact, this independent workforce is increasing in size at an impressive rate: In 2016 alone, the freelance workforce accounted for 55 million professionals who earned nearly one trillion in income, according to a workforce survey (largest to date) commissioned by Upwork and Freelancers Union.

Closing The Gap On Digital Transformation

The journey that is digital transformation, is based on the ideas and processes used to optimize an entire business ecosystem around digital technology. It’s the essence of transformation that represents a hyper-connectedness between goals, a purpose, stakeholders, and most importantly the customer. But what triggers a need for a digital transformation? Most often, it’s the social and behavioral changes that are taking place in society; this is a starting point for measuring the need to innovate.

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30 Photos of Arizona's Sonoran Desert

350 days of sunshine, forests of Saguaro cactus, numerous mountain ranges, and endless desert vistas… these are the reasons why I love Tucson, Arizona — but it wasn’t always this way. For the majority of my life I had no idea what was to be seen, felt, and experienced in the Sonoran Desert just miles from the Mexico border. It took four years of school (Beardown), nearly 15 road trips, my wedding, and far too many 110 degree days to finally understand how peaceful the desert really is. And to be

10 Campaigns for People and the Outdoors in 2018

It’s safe to say there is no shortage of corporate social responsibility (CSR) within the outdoor industry. Consumers and enthusiasts continue to express their concerns for the environment and society (reflecting their core values), and companies continue to listen. And respond. The outdoor industry serves as a model for the healthy relationships brands and loyalists should have across all industries, one that provides purpose and reward beyond the physical product — gratification from supporti

Folklore Surf: Founder Interview With Mar Cubillos

Folklore Surf: the questionable accounts of distant lands, perfect waves, and surfing that a person can only dream of. They get bigger and better with each telling until they become your own target of exploration. “It’s this folklore of surf that motivates us to create our own experiences that go beyond the time we spend in the water. This is our belief and it’s only fitting that we have a name that fits us.” Our conversation started with an Instagram story.

Road Tripping Coastal California: Trip Review

For years I pondered a life on the road, especially as a California native; having a coastline that extends well over a thousand miles, offering some of the best scenic driving in all of North America. I’d only experienced two or three quality road trips in my lifetime — all of which dated back to middle school. But even as young adventurer with dad in driver seat, there was something incredibly fulfilling about long-distance car camping and the many miles in-between home and a destination.

Four Days at Glen Oaks Big Sur Travel Review

Big Sur, California, is as much a state of mind as it is a dreamy escape for city dwellers to connect with raw nature, and experience the charm of unspoiled coastline. Although my wife and I were born and raised in Southern California (Laguna Beach area), we had only ventured to Big Sur a couple of times as children. As fate would have it, this trip allowed us a rare opportunity to enjoy this magical destination without interruption from crowds, or people at all for that matter.

Life Design With a Trip To Big Sur

Exploring the concept of “designing your life,” this Designing North Studios original, is a photo enhanced essay about the iconic Big Sur Coast and the magic it creates within all who visit. Known to most Californians, Big Sur is far from a “best kept secret,” yet it continues to dazzle the hearts of those who wander its shores. Please follow along as they share their perspective on “Life Design With a Trip to Big Sur”: Fascinating. Soul-cleansing. Metaphorical. Big Sur is like nowhere else.

Mika Amaro Handmade Bikes Founder Interview

Do you believe in bike-love at first sight? I do! Please, postpone your judgement. At least until you lay eyes on a mika amaro urban bike. The way in which the shiny details come together… these bikes have looks that could kill. In fact, when I first stumbled upon a mika amaro my heart skipped a beat; knowing I would be lusting over someday owning an urban bike with such fine qualities, I had to introduce myself and learn more. Well, after getting to know more about the brand...

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To Find Your Ideal Job, Master the Search

The number of open jobs in the U.S. hit 7.1 million on the last day of August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 7.1 million -- think about that for a minute… That’s a big number when you consider a job post for each. Even so, notice I specifically didn’t make reference to “mastering the job board” in the title. That’s because the sheer number of open jobs on any given day has rendered the traditional job board ineffective for most people.

How my Cat Taught me the Secret to Happiness With her “Never Stop Exploring” Mindset

It all happened in the master bathroom of my small beach condo. I had just finished lunch (vegan quesadillas, if you must know) when I decided to freshen up with a quick face rinse (no, I will not apologize for working from home and adopting the stereotypical lifestyle that comes with the territory). As I finished, turning to my towel for assistance, my 1-year-old cat, Gidget, jumped onto the counter, coming face to face with the trickling stream of lukewarm faucet water.

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